194. The Gospel according to St. Mark (KJV)

This post marks a successful spin read for the Classics Club challenge August 2018, having read up to number 9 on my list nominated at the beginning of the month, so there may be new readers to the blog and this post. Hence I repeat my earlier disclaimer : the following posts on the New Testament are not to be read as criticism or discussion of the Books as religious texts but solely my experiences reading them as literature.

So to Mark, and how is it different from Matthew?  Well, apart from skipping the nativity story of Jesus, and starting with his baptism by John the Baptist, there is a great deal of similarity in covering the same major events and miracles of Jesus’ life reported in Matthew, even down to quoting the same speeches almost word for word. What is missing is a lot of those notable phrases that so enlivened Matthew and have been immortalised in literature ever since, which I listed in my previous post.

There was one new addition, (the story of Jesus casting out a legion of devils from one man, into a herd of two thousand swine, who then drown themselves in the sea) and perhaps more stress on the acts of the twelve disciples to heal the sick and cast out devils from the afflicted. There are also some omissions  (Judas betrays Jesus but the bribe amount is not specified and the fate of Judas is not mentioned) and discrepancies (Jesus appears after his resurrection to the disciples as they sit disbelieving Mary’s report, rather than the disciples traveling to the mountain in Galilee to meet him)

Favourite lines/passages:

“The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath”    Mark, ch 2:27

“For what shall it profit a man, if he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”  Mark, ch. 8:36

Personal rating:  As I rated Matthew with all its memorable and quotable lines  5/10, I can give Mark  no better than 4/10

Next : The third Gospel, Luke.

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